Amazon CTO Details the Evolution of the Cloud Model

When Amazon Web Services first launched it was all about compute, storage and networking, but now it's about a whole lot more.

Amazon, the company that has done more than any other vendor on the planet to define the cloud model, is now in the process of redefining that model with a new era of services.

Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon, helped to start the cloud revolution in 2006 when Amazon Web Services (AWS) was first launched. Back then the primary services were EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) and S3 (Simple Cloud Storage Service). In a keynote at the AWS Summit on August 11, Vogels said that the shift in economic model, enabling organizations to shift computing costs from being a capital expenditure to an operational expenditure is the spark that truly ignited the cloud era.

"Nobody thinks about buying hardware anymore," Vogels said. "There isn't a vertical today that isn't using AWS."

While cloud offers a different model of consumption for compute resources, Vogels emphasized that AWS' success today isn't just about compute, but rather is about helping to enable digital transformation. The basic idea behind digital transformation is that organizations can move faster and be more agile in bringing new services and product to market.

"AWS is so much more today than just compute, storage, databases and networking," Vogels said.

AWS now has services for analytics, security and event driven serverless models as well Lamda and Kinesis. While EC2 started off just offering Virtual Machines (VMs), AWS today enables multiple deployment models, including containers.

"We give you the tools to be successful in this world," Vogels said.

Yet a large part of the economic utility that the cloud provides isn't just about agility, it's about the ability to shut services down that aren't being used. Vogels emphasized that the cloud enables organization to reduce their expenses when they don't need to use all the capacity. He added that eliminating wait states improves agility by enabling organizations to get up and running quickly and eliminating waste, by turning off resources that aren't being used is just good economic sense.

"Agility doesn't live in production, it lives in your development and test cycles," Vogels said. "You can save up to 75 percent of your computing costs by switching off resources when developers go home."

While Amazon started of with just a few U.S datacenters, today it's a global business that is expanding its geographic footprint. Vogels said that he commonly sees developers work in one particular geography and then work to deploy in another.

To date in 2016, Amazon has launched two new AWS regions, one in South Korea and one in India. Four new AWS regions are set to be launched this year, including locations in a second region in China, a new region in Ohio, another in Montreal, Canada. At the beginning of 2017 a new region is planned for London, England.

werner vogel, AWS

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Datamation and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

Tags: cloud computing, AWS, Amazon Web Services

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